When your dog’s breath is worse than his bite
We often hear in oral care commercials of how bacteria in our teeth and gums can cause viruses and tooth decay, but have you paused to think that this could also happen to our favourite furry companions?
One of the first signs of dental diseases is bad breath, and many owners have the misconception that their dogs’ breath will always smell bad. Keeping in mind that prevention is always better than cure, with the right techniques and tools, you can not only eliminate unpleasant odours, but also be the first to know when the real problems arise.
Dental care can prolong your dog’s life
If your dog has a toothache or sore gums, then it’s suffering from unnecessary pain and stress that you may not even realise. Even worse, his heart, kidney, lungs, and bladder can become susceptible to diseases.
One such case is whereby gum diseases in dogs have proven to be linked to dangerous health problems such as the inflammation of heart valves. Since poor dental habits lead to the accumulation of bacteria, the dog may also be more liable to inflammation in its urinary tract or kidney.
Just by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, you’ll be able to not only reduce the risk of these illnesses greatly, but also increase their life expectancy – veterinarians predict that it can increase from the usual 11-13 years to 15-17 years!
1. Start with a soft cloth
Ordinary washcloths will do the trick with a little bit of water and pet-safe toothpaste, but pet retail stores do sell dental brushing cloths as well. To get your dog used to the sensation and idea of brushing its teeth, rub gently and only cover a few teeth at a time. Increase the number of teeth cleaned per session, and soon you’ll be able to graduate it to using a dog-friendly toothbrush for more effective cleaning of the gum-line!
2. Remember to brush the back teeth
The back teeth are usually the site for plaque accumulation, and even though it might be much more difficult to reach, you will need to persist in cleaning those chompers. Tartar buildup, which consists of yellow, hardened plaque, can eventually lead to gum disease and other illnesses, so it’s best to get professional dental cleaning done at the vet’s if the tartar is too stubborn.
3. Brush daily
Brushing only takes about 2 minutes once you get the hang of it, so do your best to brush your dog’s teeth daily to ensure prime dental health! Establish the routine as early as possible and always use positive reinforcements by offering lots of scratches, rewards, and praises.
Don’t worry if you’ve yet to establish a dental care routine with your furry companion – it’s better late than never, and with the appropriate care and annual dental checkups, our fur-children will be running by our sides for a longer and healthier period of time.